Capital Facilities Priorities and Bonding
New Principals Announced
Board Discusses Capital Facilities Priorities and Bonding
CFO Keith Bradford in Study Session presented a five-year Facility Plan that also identifies possible funding sources. Dustin Matsumori, representing the banking firm George K. Baum and Company, outlined research regarding the District’s ability to assume debt to pay for school construction and renovation. He told Board members that declining property-value assessments, coupled with the District’s existing debt, adversely affect the amount the District could pursue without a tax increase. The Board was told that, given the economic climate and current debt service, the District could seek approximately $185 million without an immediate tax increase. Those factors also impact the timing of the bond issuances, as well. The Board asked for the preparation of a resolution signaling intent to seek a June bond election.
In a reconvened study session that followed board meeting, Mr. Bradford suggested facility improvements to prepare for grade reconfiguration. He also identified schools that need seismic upgrades, air conditioning systems and classroom-renovation work.
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The Board approved the creation of 15 Achievement Coach positions that would assist in the teaching of literacy and numeracy in elementary schools. The reconfigured positions will supplant the current Literacy Facilitator positions. The District, which is facing an $11.7 million revenue deficit, was subsidizing the 29 positions with $2.8 million annually. The Board instructed the Administration to ensure all the current Literacy Facilitators are offered positions as Achievement Coaches or classroom teachers.
In Study Session, Superintendent David Doty referred the Board to a proposal to alter the role and function of the District’s Literacy Facilitators. Under a plan by the Evidence-Based Learning Department, the 29 Literacy Facilitator positions, which were funded last year by one-time monies, would be dissolved.
The District then would hire a minimum of 15 Achievement Coaches to be utilized in the elementary schools. Dr. Doty said the proposed change is both fiscally and academically strategic for the District, which faces an $11.7 million revenue deficit. The current positions cost the District an additional $2.8 million than is reimbursed by the state, and the new positions are designed to support and assist schools in maximizing the effective use of achievement data to inform student instruction in language arts and mathematics. Human Resources Director Steve Dimond explained the process the District will follow to ensure that Facilitators who are not hired in the new positions will be offered teaching jobs that are expected to become available through attrition. Several Board members told the Administration they wanted to make sure jobs were preserved. Board Member Kevin Cromar voiced support for maintaining Literacy Facilitators and questioned if one person would be able to effectively serve two schools in both literacy and numeracy. He also stated he was concerned the District Administration had not explored various financial avenues, such as the use of Capital Outlay funds, to pay for the positions.
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Dr. Doty announced the appointment of two new Canyons District Principals:
Shad DeMill is the new principal of Midvale Elementary. Mr. DeMill is currently the Assistant Principal of Majestic Elementary in Jordan District. He replaces Karen Kezerian, who was transferred to Edgemont Elementary.
Alice C. Meridith is the new principal at Oakdale Elementary. Ms. Meridith is presently the Assistant Principal of Highland Village Elementary in Lewisville, Texas. She replaces Ruth Peters, who was transferred to Peruvian Park Elementary.
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Board Action: The Board approved the consent agenda, which included the Feb. 16 and March 2 minutes; purchasing bids; financial reports for February; February hires and terminations; the graduation-venue schedule; administrative appointments; home school applications; overnight travel requests for Hillcrest’s volleyball team, Brighton’s culinary-arts team, and District FBLA and DECA groups; the IRS-required documents to provide a 403 (b) for employees; and a milk-substitute policy for lunchrooms.
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Patron Comments: Denise Orme, leadership coordinator at Canyons District Office, commented on the proposal to utilize Achievement Coaches in elementary schools instead of Literacy Facilitators. She said principals signaled they were in favor of the proposal at a meeting held to discuss the suggested position.
Teacher Barbara Blaser thanked the Board for attention given to programs for gifted and talented students. She told the Board every elementary school in the District benefits from having a full-time Literacy Facilitator.
Teacher Susan Jones voiced concern with the proposal to alter the job descriptions of Literacy Facilitator.
Monica Patch, whose children attend Bella Vista, told the Board how much the Literacy Facilitators have helped her children.
Betty Shaw, Region 17 PTA vice president, thanked Board members for their hard work and expressed support for their decisions.
Teacher Deborah Stuart expressed support for keeping intact the Literacy Facilitator position at each elementary school.
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Kevin Cromar recognized Brighton High School students for excelling in winter sport programs and being named to Academic All-State teams. He lauded Eastmont for the “12 Dancing Princesses” production, and reported on his attendance at several meetings, including one about Brighton’s attendance policy.
Sherrill Taylor told the Board several constituents have requested a date and time change for the traditional Lagoon Day, which often conflicts with high school graduation ceremonies.
Paul McCarty reported on his attendance at the conference of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Mr. Millerberg expressed appreciation for the District’s Home and Hospital program.
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Study Session: Board President Tracy Cowdell thanked Canyons District Government Relations Director Charlie Evans and his team for their expertise and diligence during the 2010 Legislature. Mr. Evans reported to the Board myriad issues debated during the session, including the state budget, ongoing education funding and intra-district and statewide equalization. Mr. Evans told the Board he believed the session was successful for Canyons District. The Board also coordinated speaking assignments for upcoming graduation ceremonies with Mary Bailey, the K-16 Director for High Schools.